Dostoievsky is rolling in his grave
Posted by keithosaunders on November 11, 2010
On Monday, on the way to pick my daughter up at her school, I turned on a public radio station and I stumbled upon a lecture. I do not know who the speaker was, although I suspect it may have been Thomas Frank, who is the author of “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” a book that examines why conservative voters tend to vote against their own interest.
I tuned in just as the speaker quoted the great Russian author, Fyodor Dostoievsky. “When the liberal class ceases to function we enter a period of moral nihilism.” The lecturer went on to assert that liberals should be blamed even more than conservatives for the state that we find ourselves, for it is they who allowed the concept of ‘liberalism’ to be co-opted by the Republicans as a slur. The speaker asserted that the failure of liberals to defend their policies, and when necessary, to take a firm stand, is reprehensible.
He went on to discuss the economy, noting that Youngstown, Ohio was once a thriving steel town. Now its main industry is correctional facilities and it is home to three prisons. He was making a correlation between rampant unemployment, poverty, and the prison culture. A case in point was noted in Joni Hudson-Reynolds’s blog. She wrote pf the case of the Scott sisters, who were involved in a robbery that netted $11 and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
I wish I had heard more of the lecture and that I could name the speaker. It was a fascinating listen, at least for the 10 minutes I heard. What is disillusioning to me is the rampant denigration of government. I would argue that in the past several years conservatives have demonized the word government, much as they did liberal beginning shortly after LBJ’s enactment of civil rights.
Democrats have no one to thank but themselves. Time and again they have failed to refute these charges of socialism and excessive spending. There is plenty of good that has come out of our government and Democrats have no reason to be ashamed of the legacy of liberalism. If certain programs are abused then they can be modified, but the idea that government should not spend money to the betterment of society, and to prevent large-scale poverty is one that I do not subscribe to.
It’s hardly original to note the Orwellian nature of this doublespeak but I believe it bears repeating. Conservatives rail against the evils of government without offering a viable alternative. By ignoring the good that has come from liberal ideas — and there is plenty to be proud of — the Democrats are contributing to the degradation of society.
This entry was posted on November 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm and is filed under Politics. Tagged: Democrat, LBJ, liberalism, Republican, Scott sisters, socialism, Thomas Frank. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.